Each of the words in UniteBoston’s Mission Statement has been intentionally chosen. Read below to hear more about the definitions and theological basis behind each of these words.
UniteBoston nurtures unity among diverse Christians through relationships for the flourishing of the city. We seek to be an incubator and catalyst to champion collaborative mission, reconciliation, and justice.
We envision God’s Kingdom flourishing in Boston as we cultivate connections to one another, Jesus and His causes.
- Nurtures = A humble posture that is required to bring about unity and reconciliation, requiring tender care for each member of the body as in a gardener tending to a garden. When Adam was told to take care of the garden, he was expected to care for it in such a way that it produces and flourishes (Gen 2:15).
- Unity = Unity means oneness, as exemplified by the unity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 17:21); a oneness that embraces the uniqueness of each part and yet comes together in intrinsic partnership, a “divine dance.” The nature of God is perfect unity in community. Early Christians were convinced of the centrality of unity among followers of Christ (2 Cor 5:16-21, 1 Cor 1:10, Rom 12:4-5, Jn 11:52, Eph 4:3). God has already brought about unity (Ephesians 4:3), yet our calling is to make it visible. Unity is both a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought. This unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything that threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted. (Note: This language about unity is modified from the Belhar Confession)
- Diverse = UniteBoston upholds the Church’s call to the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:11-21) by intentionally welcoming Christians into our ministry across historic divides in the Church, including but not limited to race, culture, denomination, generation, political affiliation, socio-economic background, and more. We encourage the UniteBoston community to come with an open mind and a learner’s heart in communing with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, affirming that the love of Christ will prevail in the midst of our differences. Together, our witness is magnified as we come together in unity to engage our neighbor across barriers with unconditional love, joy and fellowship.
- Christians = We cultivate a movement of Jesus-followers who affirm Christ as Lord and Savior and the historic Christian tenets in the Nicene Creed.
- Relationships = At the center of the Christian faith is the confession that Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection has reconciled us to God and one another, thus forming an inseverable and eternal peace (Eph 2:14). Relationships are at the heart of our ministry and a concrete way to embody God’s call for unity. As we nurture genuine friendships across difference, people learn to build trust, recognize and embrace a common identity as members of the body of Christ on God’s mission. As each part of the body of Christ connects together, it results in a more vibrant, effective Church (Eph 4:16, 1 Cor 12:20-27).
- Flourishing = Flourishing speaks of shalom. More than a surface-level peace, shalom means that everything is in right relationship with God, humanity, and the earth, with injustices eradicated such that all can prosper, thrive, and flourish. With UniteBoston, as we repair relationships, we are part of God’s redemptive work of תיקון עולם, Tikkun olam = ‘repair of the world’.
- Seek to be = We put ourselves in the position as a learner in that we partner with what God is already going and has done in the city.
- Incubator = We cultivate an ecclesial imagination inviting people to consider what it means to be the people of God embodying the mission of God, here in this place. We are a learning organization, continually in the constant process of defining, testing, reflecting, and repeating.
- Catalyst = As God’s people dream about what could be, we connect and activate God’s people to catalyze new initiatives.
- Champion = We celebrate and bring attention to areas where we see God’s redemptive work showing up in our midst.
- Collaborative mission = We nurture partnerships within and between churches to accomplish that which any one of us could not accomplish alone. Our coming together reduces duplication of efforts, leading to synergistic mission greater than any one church can accomplish working independently.
- Reconciliation – UniteBoston upholds the Church’s call to the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:11-21). The central message of reconciliation is a prominent theme throughout the New Testament, and the early Christians were convinced of the value of unity among followers of Christ to instill a common identity as well as an effective witness (2 Cor 5:16-21, 1 Cor 1:10, Rom 12:4-5, Jn 11:52, Eph 4:3, Jn 17:21). Where repair and healing is needed, we engage individuals and congregations in a process of conflict transformation involving awareness, truth-telling, forgiveness, repentance and restoration. As Christians, we are to be a visible sign of God’s already present reign, both to bring the message and to be a test case for God’s reconciling work through Jesus Christ.
- Justice – Justice is not peripheral, but intrinsic to the gospel, and we recognize the ways in which sinful systems and structures have inhibited people from flourishing in our city. We seek to see injustices eradicated such that all can prosper, thrive, and flourish. Thus, we work together with churches, non-profits, city and other institutions to work for the peace and prosperity of the city where we have been called (Jer 29:7).